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If you have a cellphone, then you are very likely to have received an Amber Alert at some point in your life. Amber Alerts are sent out when a child goes missing, and is presumed to have been kidnapped. These alerts typically include a description of the child, a description of the alleged kidnapper, and a description of the vehicle they are likely to be traveling in. While we are all familiar with that text that sets off every phone in your meeting, what exactly constitutes kidnapping?

Florida Statute 787.01 outlines that the term kidnapping means forcibly, secretly, or by threat confining, abducting, imprisoning another person under the age of 13 against their will without lawful authority. Basically, kidnapping is the taking of a child under 13, without having the authority to do so. Kidnapping is a serious crime. Like all crimes, there are degrees of severity associated with the crime of kidnapping. It is important to know what level of charge you are facing if you are arrested for kidnapping.

According to Florida Statute, the crime of kidnapping is a first degree felony if the State is able to prove the following:

  • When a person forcibly, secretly, or by threat confines, abducts or imprisons another person under the age of 13 against their will and without lawful authority with intent to:
    • Hold for ransom or reward, as a shield or hostage
    • Commit or facilitate commission of any felony
    • Inflict bodily harm upon or to terrorize the victim or another person
    • Interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function

If you are arrested for kidnapping and found guilty of a first degree felony, the consequences you will be facing are severe. A person who is found guilty of first degree kidnapping can face up to life in prison, and a fine of $100,000. While this is a serious, life altering charge, the consequences can become even more severe. The crime of kidnapping can be a life felony if the proper criteria are met. A life felony means that if convicted, you will go to prison for life. Kidnapping becomes a life felony under the following conditions:

  • A person who commits the offense of kidnapping upon a child under the age of 13 and who, in the course of committing the offense, commits one or more of the following:
    • Aggravated child abuse
    • Sexual battery against the child
    • Lewd or lascivious batter, lewd or lascivious molestation, lewd or lascivious conduct, or lewd or lascivious exhibition
    • Enacts prostitution upon the child
    • Exploitation of the child or allowing the child to be exploited
    • Exposes the child to human trafficking

With so much at stake, it is crucial to have an attorney that you can trust, and that will work tirelessly to fight for you. Attorney Matthew Thompson is an experienced attorney, and will bring his years of experience to your case. Attorney Thompson takes pride in creating a defense unique to what your case needs, and will help you put your life back together after an arrest. Call Thompson Law today at (386) 463-4LAW (4529), toll free at (877) 934-4LAW (4529), or text Attorney Thompson directly at (386) 337-2219. Your consultation can be scheduled in DeLand or Daytona Beach, depending on your location, we make it easy and convenient for you to get the legal representation you need.

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"In the past thirteen years we have used several lawyers and found them lacking. We have found Attorney Matt Thompson very pleasant to work with. He was very detailed and listened with true compassion. We were impressed with his straightforwardness and what seems to be a NO promises attitude. I would rather hear the truth than lie to make me feel better. His approach was simple, honest, and we especially liked his preparedness of the case." Susan
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